“I want to help make sure that someday movies do include people like gender-flipped Sulu and race-bent Scully.”
Fresh Ink from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Fresh Ink is an collaborative effort, an anthology put together by We Need Diverse Books and 13 well-known Young Adult authors. It’s a collection of short stories, comics, and even plays that feature diverse characters and address issues relevant to modern society.
It’s a bit hard to review a collection of so many pieces, but I’ll try my best to do this anthology justice. I’ll start by saying that I’m so glad this book exists, as it’s an incredibly important one. I can’t wait to see this on shelves. Giles writes in the beginning about the importance of young readers being able to identify themselves in stories, and in the modern era, it’s hard to deny the importance of representation in media. This book makes strides on that count, and I hope it impacts creators to broaden their casts of characters. We need realistic representation for all people.
The stories themselves tackled a number of topics that, in truth, are deserving of entire novels. One shots are a start, but we can’t end it here. Fresh Ink takes on police brutality, gentrification, diversity in cosplay, coming out, immigration…and so, so much more. Every story made an impact, and in that sense, this book achieved what it set out to. It gave a platform to voices that are typically overshadowed by straight, white, cisgender protagonists that we have more than enough of. We definitely need more books like this.
As far as my own enjoyment of the stories goes, I’m a bit mixed. The majority of these were amazing reads, but a few did fall short for me. While I appreciate and recognize the importance of every single one of these perspectives, I think I found some of these harder to stay focused on simply because I’m not huge on contemporaries. Make me a collection like this, only with fantasy and sci-fi stories, and I’ll be skipping through the streets.
I gave Fresh Ink a 3.5 of 5 stars on Goodreads. Objectively, this is a fantastic collection and will do wonders for most readers, especially fans of YA contemporary. Personally, I also really enjoyed it. But since I do rate based on my own enjoyment, I did take a point or so just for the fact that I wasn’t always as engaged as I’d like to have been. Either way, I recommend picking this up. It’s worth reading and worth spreading around.
Fresh Ink hits shelves on August 14, 2018. You can pre-order your copy here.